In the News…

A few topics have been going around the news lately and I would love to get your opinion!

USDA Requires Nutrition Labels for 40 cuts of meat: In the past, raw meats have been excluded from mandatory labeling laws that include numbers for things like calories, protein, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. As of January 2012, all meat and poultry will need to be labeled. The goal is to help consumers be informed, which I don’t disagree with. But we do need better education for consumers of what those numbers actually mean, and what numbers they should be looking for. How do we do that? Better reimbursement by insurance for seeing a dietitian would be a great place to start…but that is a different topic. What do you think?
Egg’s Cholesterol level has become lower: Cholesterol in egg yolks used to be about 215 mg. A new survey shows an average of 185 mg. This may be in part to differences in the way hens are fed and/or bred. But the bigger news is that cholesterol in eggs has less of an effect on blood cholesterol than we originally thought. One egg per day (that includes the yolk) does not increase blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are also very high in choline, vitamin D, protein and possibly omega 3 fatty acids if the hens were fed flax seed (which the package would indicate). Personally, I feel that if we were meant to only eat the egg white, it would have come that way. But it didn’t, it has a yolk, and a yolk here and there is not a problem. To control calories a bit, you could use one whole egg (75 calories) and the rest egg whites (each 25- 30 calories).
Food Industry Unveils Plans for Front of Package Labeling: The FDA has been working on new labeling laws for nutrition facts labels that appear on the front of packages. The food industry jumped the gun and unveiled their new plans for labels to help consumers buy healthier foods. The problem is that there isn’t any regulation yet on what they can and can’t say. A good example is a package touting that it is high in protein when the average American already gets more than enough. Basically manufacturers can highlight what they want about a product while ignoring unhealthier attributes. But my question for you is…do you think front of package labels would help you when grocery shopping?
Mom sues Nutella over health claims: You have seen the commercials, right? Nutella is portrayed as healthy, especially as a breakfast for children. But once this mother realized that is was loaded with sugar and saturated fat, she filed a law suit. I would LOVE to hear your opinion on this!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD